Bowing to Communist Regime Pressure, Hong Kong Blacklists Falun Gong
Leaked Fax Details Plan to Bar Falun Gong from Airline Flights
NEW YORK – Hong Kong’s immigration authorities have blocked over 140 Taiwanese practitioners of Falun Gong from entering the region in the days leading up to a scheduled annual protest, the Falun Dafa Information Center has learned.
On July 1, Hong Kong will mark the tenth anniversary of the Special Administrative Region’s return to Chinese rule, a date on which officially-sponsored celebrations are annually accompanied by large-scale marches and protests demanding greater freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.
The Falun Dafa Information Center has obtained a copy of a fax sent from Hong Kong’s immigration authorities to a Hong Kong airline. Through July 1, “Falun Gong followers will be regarded as unwelcome travelers to Hong Kong,” the fax states. The immigration authorities promised to provide the airline with a blacklist of Taiwanese Falun Gong adherents, who would be refused entry upon arriving in Hong Kong. The authorities requested that these people be prevented from boarding their flights from Taiwan.
According to the AFP news service, the US State Department issued a statement in response to the incident urging Hong Kong authorities to uphold “personal and political freedom.” (news) Several Taiwanese government officials, including Government Information Office Minister Mr. Shieh Jhy-wey, also condemned Hong Kong’s actions. (news)
Since 2001, approximately 400 Falun Gong practitioners, including children, have been refused entry to Hong Kong, usually around “sensitive” dates. These people traveled to the Hong Kong SAR in order to participate in legal, peaceful protests meant to call for an end to the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong adherents in China. Under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, Hong Kong and Macau are the only places in China where such protests can generally take place without being violently broken up by police.
Over the past year in Hong Kong, agents allegedly working for the communist regime in Beijing have threatened Falun Gong practitioners and vandalized their public displays that aim to expose the persecution in China. Practitioners in Hong Kong also report difficulties renting venues for events and say their protests are met with silence by the Hong Kong media.
“This continuous attack on Falun Gong under the influence of the Chinese communist regime is an insult to the people of Hong Kong and a slap in the face of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ promise,” says Erping Zhang of the Falun Dafa Information Center.
“It’s a shame Hong Kong leaders continue to kowtow to help the Chinese communist regime hide its crimes and silence innocent victims,” Zhang says.
In 2003, the Hong Kong Immigration Department denied using a blacklist when it barred from the SAR 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners who had come to attend a conference. Many of the 80 Taiwanese say they were violently deported in the incident, which has since led to a lawsuit filed against Hong Kong immigration authorities.